Leeds park and ride’s ‘Le Tour’ target

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Construction work on the new Elland Road park-and-ride is set to start on January 20 to ensure it is up and running in time for Leeds’s starring role in the 2014 Tour de France.

The £2.8m project – to be run from the council-owned car parks to the west of Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium – was approved by senior councillors in November.

It is hoped the facility will be fully operational by mid June, allowing for a trial period to deal with any teething problems ahead of the Tour de France Grand Depart on Saturday, July 5.

A new council report says unexpected decontamination work on the site has already “severely delayed” the time available to get the construction work signed off. However, bosses hope the project will still be on track for completion in time.

A report just approved by the city’s chief officer for highways and transportation says the scheme – a partnership project with Metro – is a “high profile strategic aspiration” for the city.

“Leeds city council wish to have the facility fully operational for use during the Tour-de-France event in July 2014, which requires a completion date around mid-June to allow Metro a three-week trial period to ensure the new bus service operates effectively,” the report says. “The construction start date is a key driver to ensuring the scheme is operational before the Tour de France event. A 20-week programme is required to complete the works. Site construction works will need to commence on January 20.”

The park and ride scheme includes a 15-minute bus service to and from Boar Lane in Leeds city centre. The service would run from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday, excluding Leeds United’s home matchdays. The scheme is part of a wider Elland Road masterplan which includes a new Leeds police headquarters and an ice rink.

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